Prodrive and Subaru to take on Isle of Man lap record

New WRX STI rally car ready for the legendary TT course
By Imran Malik, Features Writer
April 05, 2016

Back in June 2014, Mark Higgins - three-time British Rally Champion - set a new Isle of Man lap record in the 2015 Subaru WRX STI setting a time of 19 minutes and 15 seconds. His previous best in 2011 was 19 minutes and 56 seconds and after that run, he said that he had left time on the course. He wasn’t kidding by demolishing his own record five years later, and now, he plans to beat it once again with Subaru Technica International teaming up with Prodrive to help achieve that aim on the fabled 59.54km course - almost three times longer than the Nürburgring.

The last time out, the Subaru was fitted with a FIA-spec roll-cage, racing seat and harness, fire suppression system and modified springs and dampers. It ran on Dunlop Derezza tyres and the speed limiter was removed but now, English tuner Prodrive, who have built Subaru’s rally cars in the past from 1990 to 2008, is going to help smash that record at the end of May with a special WRX STI. They have released some photos of their new car for the TT course, which is a public road for most of the year.

The 2016 WRX STI rally car will be rather different to the road going version; it features a few nips and tucks and packs a significant aero package; the flared wheel arches, large front splitter, bonnet vents and a massive rear wing helps it look the business. The interior is stripped out and features a roll-cage. Not much is known if any tweaks have taken place under the bonnet but it should have more than the 296 horsepower and 407Nm of torque that the standard model makes with that 2.5 litre turbocharged flat-four. Will it be able to do it in less than 19 minutes? We’ll have to wait and see…